Chantal is a designer who believes the pixel is mightier than the sword. With a background in both psychology and front-end development, she is interested in ways technology can make us more human and elicit positive change.
What do you do?
I'm a designer; I help make the man-made world human-friendly. Right now, I do a lot of work in interface design and user experience.
How do you stay up to date with trends in your industry/field?
The usual suspects: Twitter, Designer News, Behance and Dribbble. I also try and chat with as many designers as I can, in person. You never know what you might serendipitously pick up.
What are your top five applications or programs?
Sketch 3 - I love that I can produce both low- and high-fidelity artifacts easily without duplicating the effort.
HoverZoom - This chrome extension shows you the full-size image on-hover. Great for quickly scanning through image-heavy websites without having to click in.
any.do - If a task is not on there, I promise I will forget it. This app is a life-saver.
Tomato-Timer.com - I've been into the whole pomodoro craze lately and I've been loving it. I use the five minute breaks as little doodle seshs and they're good brain-break.
Medium - Okay, okay, not technically an app, but it is fantastic for writing. I love that it handles all the typography, allowing me to just focus on producing quality content.
Best way to stay on top of email?
This is weird, but I find I'm better at going through email (and other small-scale tasks) when sitting on the step of a staircase.
Here's my theory: chairs specifically meant for sitting, right? So, when you sit down in a chair, you could reasonably sit there for hours, which makes it easier to procrastinate, since you're less hurried. But very rarely in the average workflow of life does one sit on a step. Usually while on a staircase, you're in motion, up or down, and if you do plop yourself down, it's ever so brief, like to tie your shoe.
So, your mental state while sitting on the step is different than in a chair; it's task-driven and get-in-get-out. As a result, I find myself getting straight down to business, working faster, piddling away less time.
What is your best time-saving trick?
Productive procrastination. Instead of checking Instagram for the thousandth time, I'll grab my to-do list and make myself do something else on it instead of the task at-hand. Although perhaps this means I'm taking a blind eye to the priorities, at least something of value gets done.
One non-tech thing you can’t live without?
Can I name two things? Blank notebook and a decent pen. I'd be lost without being able to jot down notes, doodles and lists.
What does your workspace look like?
I like my space to be functional but with some personality, collecting knick-knacks I find interesting, inspiring or funny. I keep pens and paper close by, with plenty of real estate for a notebook and the laptop. (Note the Bearface coaster! Reppin' the local art scene.) The camel was drawn by my grandfather and is very supportive of my efforts. I have a prism hanging from my window; it's one of my favourite things. I love rainbow o'clock when all the little baby rainbows start dancing around my walls; it perks me up no matter what I'm doing.